redistricting map today.
Unfortunately Laurel's own State Senator Jim Rosapepe voted for moving Laurel into the new 4th District horse shoe. It was a party-line vote. Here's the link with the details.
Note: Here is the latest story from the Leader.
If the Maryland House agrees, Laurel becomes congressional roadkill. We've been thrown under the bus because of partisan priorities. All of this pain to get 8 out of 8 congressional seats elected as Democrats instead of 7 of 8. Such a pity.
This has been a disappointing day for me. These legislators are smart, hardworking, and dedicated people. Many of them I count as personal friends and mentors. But there is something corrosive in our state and in our nation. It's deadly and it has metastasized. It's a cancer cell that looks a lot like this new Maryland congressional redistricting map.
I guess I should have seen it coming years ago. But I wasn't paying close attention because I've never been partisan. The only question that ever matters to me is what's best for the community. Red, Blue, White, Black, who cares?
What's important is simple -- jobs, education, public safety, quality of life, hope for our kids. Does it really matter if it's a republican or a democrat bill that gets my brother a job? Or a democrat's bill that educates my grandchildren? We've lost sight of what matters in Maryland. Partisanship is blinding us. Partisanship is blinding our legislators. It's killing common sense and shared purpose.
I've been told by legislators that it was too late to stop the bill and get the drafters to reconsider. That strikes me odd. Our legislators have known about the Governor's redistricting map for weeks. Did they really think that the proposed 4th district monstrosity was the best deal for Laurel? Or did they hope that we wouldn't mind being treated as a bridge to nowhere. Hey Laurel, here it comes, take one for the team!
Some have told me not to worry. That it really doesn't matter which congressional district Laurel is located. I'm told we will be taken care of. But how can that be? A congressional district is so much more than a collection of voting drones who are expected to blindly vote like some party consultant predicts. Oh, you are white, vote this way. You are black, you vote that way. Stay in your lane. Don't worry. How cynical!
I long for the day when we hold a candidate's partisanship in contempt. When we are as quick to dump a candidate for excessive partisanship as we would vote against them today for illicit sexual escapades or their tax policies. Hey congressman, you voted 200 times last session and 200 times you voted with your party. Come on congressman, you expect me to believe that you have my best interests at heart? There were no votes where our interests rose above your party's?
If all we are going to have are party-line votes -- we don't need to send as many legislators to Annapolis or Washington. We should just send two people to vote in proportion to the latest election results. We will save a ton of money by eliminating all the rest of the legislators and their staffs. Hell, if they are not going to think independently with their district's best interests in mind, why go through the charade of electing them?
No, a congressional district is not a random group of unaffiliated people. It's a group of people striving to define a shared vision based on their similarities, common interests and local problems. Geography matters so much more than race, party or economic situation.
A congressman, the best kind, leads a community to create that vision. They help us identify our shared problems. They bind us together and help us grow a shared purpose to rally around. They unite our state, local and federal leaders to solve our problems and work to make our lives better. Geography matters.
I'm so disheartened today over the loss of community, of what we could become -- for what we deserve to become -- all because of cynical, raw, partisan politics.
Geography matters because community matters. That's what makes us American.
If you would like to contact our 21st Delegation and ask them why they feel that the proposed 4th congressional district is best for Laurel. Or why they did not mobilize the community weeks ago to get our input, here is their contact info:
Senator Rosapepe - email@example.com
Delegate Frush - firstname.lastname@example.org
Delegate Barnes - Ben.Barnes@house.state.md.us
Delegate Pena-Melnyk - email@example.com